Do you LOL out loud? Screen time influence on internet slang irl

Julia Baylon, Rachel Rim, Carolina Guerrero, Hebbah Elokour, and Caelynn Hwang

If you’re a college student reading this, you are a key individual in the composition of the Gen Z identity. Gen Z, today’s 18-23-year-olds, is defined by its fervent slang usage as well as its notorious association with and attachment to technology. Commonly used components of technology in Gen Z include social media platforms, such as Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, TikTok, and Discord. This study investigates the relationship between the two variables of time exposed to social media and slang-impacted conversational speech style. As slang rapidly evolves to shape communication and accommodate the construction and expression of individual identity, we begin to ponder, where does this language style come from, and to what extent does it influence our diction? Through conversational analysis and survey/questionnaire conduction, we hope to understand the explicit impact of social media on conversational slang and whether or not the results support our hypothesis, which argues that greater usage of slang on the internet and/or overall internet presence will result in a higher frequency of slang used in real life.

Read more